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Body expresses concern over child trafficking in Kenya

By Fredrick Obura | November 13th 2018
Stakeholders during the Child Care and Protection Conference in Nairobi

NAIROBI, KENYA: The Association of Charitable Children Institutions of Kenya (ACCIK) has expressed concern over growing cases of child trafficking in the country.

It now challenges the government to address the push and pull factors and social determinants that make children vulnerable to trafficking.

“It is sad to note that according to US state department report on human trafficking 2018, the Government of Kenya does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking,” said Rev. Stephen Ndungu, Chairperson, Association of Charitable Children Institutions

“Moreover, the country has also been mapped as a source, destination and transit for trafficking and in most of these cases, vulnerable children are the most susceptible to this criminal activity. The government should address the push and pull factors and social determinants that make children vulnerable to trafficking,” he said.

Speaking in Nairobi on Tuesday the chair sought to clear the air about the issue of child rescuing and adoption.

He noted that some people with ulterior motive have tried to make child rescuing and adoption to be synonymous with trafficking.

“This is wrong and misleading. Rescuing of children in need of care and protection and their placement in Charitable Children Institutions and exiting them through adoption and foster care is provided for in Children Act 2001 among other Kenyan laws as well as international laws.”

The government has put a three year placement policy of children to Charitable Children Institutions (CCIs) and this allows CCIs to exit children through alternative family care if they cannot be reintegrated back to society. As the law stipulates, Child Adoption is supposed to be done by an adoption society registered by National adoption committee and placement of children is only supposed to be done in a registered CCI.

ACCIK says it has clear stand that if there is any CCI or adoption society in the country that is unregistered and is holding children or processing child adoption, the government should not only shut it down but also prosecute those behind its’ existence instead of giving a blanket condemnation to the entire CCI’s fraternity.

On the other hand, it says the government should support the duly registered CCIs which serve as rescue centers for children in need of care and protection.

“It is ironical to note that the same people that have been linking adoption and rescuing of children to child trafficking have been getting taxpayers’ money to build the so called Ultra-Modern CCIs.”

“The question that begs is, why build new CCIs instead of supporting the existing ones. After all, there is a move world over for deinstitutionalization! Who is behind this proposal and who stands to gain from these projects? ACCIK holds the view that government should support and strengthen existing institutions provided in the children Act 2001 instead of creating new ones.”

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